We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Catbagan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Growing up in the Philippines, risk has always been a part of my work. Leaving home is a risk, pursuing a career in an unfamiliar place is a risk, putting my stories out there is a risk. And most of the time, I feel the weight of my choices. I am more susceptible to sadness and fear away from the comfort of home, but risk pushes you to dream bigger and say, “fuck it. I’ve got nothing left to lose.”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a Filipino director & photographer currently based in Los Angele. I am very excited to be a part of Indie Pop Films, a film kollective and production company that aims to elevate and uplift Filipino voices through cinema. As a photographer, my films are visually driven and place emphasis on the faces and stories of Asian women and those who are marginalized. My work is political and sensual, focusing on dismantling upper class privilege and small, everyday violence. As a Filipina woman working in Hollywood, I dream of bridging the gap between Manila and L.A. by ushering more Filipino filmmakers into the international spotlight. One thing that I learned is that community plays a big role in our individual careers. I am where I am because of the support of my peers, and it’s very important to grow together and foster a loving environment with the people you work with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Silver Lake, so I would start on the east side. Pre-pandemic: – happy hour at Atrium – dinner in Mh Zh – drinks at Bar Bandini On the weekend I would bring them to San Onofre Beach to try surfing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Marie Jamora, Jason McLagan and Gino Jose — my film kollective — who have supported me and my work tirelessly, and my cousin Lyra Matin — who takes my creative life force and pushes it with gentle guidance